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Become part of an international network of researchers!

ENROPE is an Erasmus+ project building a European Network for Junior Researchers in the Field of Plurilingualism and Education (2018-2021). As its centrepiece, it offers an Intensive Study Programme consisting of annual Intensive Study Weeks and interlinking Online Study Phases. The second Intensive Study Week, from 29 June - 3 July 2020 in Paris, will focus on aspects related to the interactions among research, teaching and learning, such as knowledge base, plurilingual competences, language education and research methods. Take your chance to become part of an international network of researchers! No participation fees will be charged; scholarships are available. Sign up before 6 March. Do you rather want to participate online? The second Online Study Phase starts at 3 March.

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Minority SafePack presented to European Commission

The legislative proposals based on the nine points of the Minority SafePack Initiative (MSPI) were presented to the European Commission. The MSPI delegation made clear that they aim to strengthen existing EU policies to support linguistic and cultural diversity and to protect autochthonous minority communities and language groups as part of European heritage. [Photo: L. Kobus]

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'Rising intolerance against German minority'

In order to promote a tolerant environment for minorities, Denmark should put in place a new action plan against racism, to address the rise in negative political rhetoric towards other communities, including refugees and migrants. This and more can be read in the latest report on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) in Denmark.

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ECSPM 2020: Linguistic and cultural (super)diversity at work

The annual symposium of the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism (ECSPM) is hosted in a different European country each year by one of ECSPM’s institutions. It is an opportunity for experts working in the area of multilingualism to examine related theoretical and practical issues, to present and discuss research and projects being carried out and to plan future collaborative research and projects.
The 2020 edition, from 11-13 March, is hosted by the School of Humanities and Digital Sciences at the Tilburg University in the Netherlands. This year's theme is 'Linguistic and cultural (super)diversity at work: From theory and policy to action and (digital) practices'. Mercator will give a presentation about 'SPEAKABOO, COMBI & The VirtualLanguage App: An innovative multi-didactic approach'.

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VirtuLapp Multiplier Event and online language game

The Erasmus+ project VirtuLapp focuses on helping teachers to manage multilingual classrooms. On 3 April 2020, they organise a free multiplier event with the theme 'Multilingual schools' at the Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, featuring world-renowned researchers in multilingualism. On the VirtuLapp website, you can now play a language game in 5 languages and read the first newsletter.

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Gaelic default language for pupils Western Isles

Children starting first grade of primary school from 2020-2021 in Scotland’s Western Isles will be enrolled by default in the Gaelic-medium education system unless parents explicitly opt out and choose the English-medium system instead. Until now, it was the other way round: it was the parents who needed to make their preference for the Gaelic-medium system explicit.

Read more at Nationalia

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Poland: improvements, but no recognition of Silesian

The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) noted tangible progress in integrating Poland’s Roma community in the period 2014-2020, especially with regard to education. However, no progress has been made on the repeated requests for the recognition of the Silesians as an ethnic minority or Silesian as a regional language.

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'New contexts for minoritized languages'

'New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages/ Varieties' (NEWCON2020) is an international linguistics conference organized by the University of Zadar, the SOAS World Languages Institute, Mercator European Research Centre and CIDLes. NEWCON2020 will be held in Zadar (Croatia) from 28-30 September 2020. Deadline Call for Papers: 1 April 2020.

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Witness history: New sign language by children

How Nicaragua's deaf children invented a new sign language

Nominations open: Coppieters Awards

Projects, persons (women) and organisations can be nominated until 22 March.

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29th 'Treballs de Sociolingüística Catalana'

The Societat Catalana de Sociolingüística presented the 29th edition of their journal 'Treballs de Sociolingüística Catalana'. This edition's theme is 'La llengua catalana i la mundialització' ('The Catalan language and globalization'). It features articles about Catalan and education, but also about French regional languages, Valencian and Andorran.

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Blog: 'Intergenerational language transmission...'

"(...) it has long been common to raise children primarily in German to increase their chances of socio-economic advancement." What determines whether parents pass on a minority language to their children? And how does it feel for children to grow up without their heritage languages? Find out more in this blog post by Mercator researcher Dr Ruth Kircher.

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Did you know.... we are looking for authors?

● Did you know that Mongols are one of 55 minorities in China, and that the Mongolian language is the ninght most widely spread minority language in China?

● Did you know that 1.845 students in Northern Ireland took their GCSEs in Irish in 2017?

● Did you know that every year, approximately 75 students graduate in the specialization “Udmurt Language and Literature” from the Institute of Udmurt Philology, Finno-Ugrian Studies and Journalism?

The Mercator European Research Centre, with the help of expert authors and editors, has published over 55 Regional Dossiers about regional languages in education, where you can find all these facts and more. Mercator is currently looking to expand and update the Regional Dossier series.
Are you a language expert and want to help update an existing dossier, or write a new dossier? We are looking for authors on German language in education in Belgium, Slovak language in education in Hungary, Papiamentu in education in the Dutch Caribbean, German in Alsace, Kashubian in Poland, Lithuanian in Poland and Ukrainian and Ruthenian in Poland.
If you are interested in writing one of these dossiers, please get in touch with us via e-mail, and we will provide you with more information on the writing process and fee. E-mail us at

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'Bertsolari: success story of a minority language'

Is it difficult for minority languages and cultures to stay up in a globalizing world? In the Basque Country, with the help of an active regional government and a strong awareness of the Basques themselves, it isn't. And 'Bertsolaritza', the art of improvisation singing, is part of this success. Frisian Bart Kingma was intrigued and made a documentary for Omrop Fryslân: now on Youtube with Basque subtitles.

Watch the documentary


Joana Duarte: Professor in Multilingualism

On Wednesday 5 February 2020, Joana Duarte, former Mercator researcher and now professor in Multilingualism and Literacy at the Academy for Primary Education at the NHL/Stenden University, held her inaugural lecture. She made a plea for both the teachers as researchers in their own practice and for a stronger connection between education, research and practice in the field of multilingual education.

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11 - 13 March 2020, Tilburg (Netherlands)
ECSPM symposium - Linguistic and cultural (super)diversity at work: From theory and policy to action and (digital) practices
Babylon Centre for the Study of Superdiversity and the School of Humanities and Digital Sciences, Tilburg University, Netherlands

6 - 8 May 2020, Murcia (Spain)
13th International GLAT Congress: Le monde connecté et les approches interculturelles: vers un nouveau paradigme des frontières ?
* Deadline Call for Papers: 29 February 2020.
Organised by Faculty of Letters, University of Murcia

25 - 27 May 2020, Paris (France)
Minority languages spoken or signed and inclusive spaces
Organised by INSHEA.

11 - 12 June 2020, Groningen (Netherlands)
TABU - International linguistics conference
* Deadline Call for Papers: 19 march 2020
Organised by Center for Language and Cognition, University of Groningen.

18 - 19 June 2020, Flensburg (Germany)
International Conference on Multilingual Practice (ICOMP)
Organised by European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and the Danish Central Library for South Schleswig (DCBIB)

22 June - 3 July 2020, Bolzano (Italy)
Summer School on Human Rights, Minorities and Diversity Governance
Organised by Eurac Research

23 June - 25 June 2020, Reading (United Kingdom)
Conference on Multilingualism (COM) 2020
Organised by University of Reading

1 - 3 July 2020, Soria (Spain)
6th International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity, in Schools and Society
Organised by the Loyola Marymount University School of Education

2 - 3 July 2020, Zurich (Switzerland)
Symposium on Research Methods in Language Attitudes
* Deadline Call for Papers: 28th February 2020
Organised by the University of Zurich

6 - 7 July 2020, Athens (Greece)
13th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics
Hosted by the Athens Institute for Education and Research

9 - 14 August 2020, Groningen (the Netherlands)
AILA 2020: World Congress of Applied Linguistics
Organised by the University of Groningen, Multilingual Matters and others.

28 - 30 September 2020, Zadar (Croatia)
New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages/Varieties (NEWCON 2020)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 1 April 2020.
Organised by by the Linguistics Department of the University of Zadar,the SOAS World Languages Institute, Mercator European Research Centre and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLes).

29 - 30 October 2020, Meknès (Morocco)
Interdisciplinary colloquium: “La désuétude au carrefour des savoirs : De la langue à la culture”
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 April 2020.
Organised by the University Moulay Ismail.

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